Weekly Message

Mind Lecture for Mahanaim College (13th – 17 May 2019)

Dr. Ha Tae Hyun, Ph.D. The Principal, Mahanaim Educational Institute

Theme: What is Mind lecture?

The reason as to why we have unnecessary difficulties in our hearts is because people don’t know the shape of the mind. Actually, Mind lecture is defined as to teach about health mind. This is because sometimes our bodies suffer from some diseases. Likewise, our minds also suffer from mind sickness. The purpose of mind lecture therefore is to change our mind from negative to positive mindset to have a health mind.

So as to better understand the mind lecture, we shall consider the following four main stages:

Step 1: Harnessing the power of placebos

Step 2: Placebo effect examples

Step 3: 6 stages of mind

Step 4: Mind can change when it is connected.

 

Step 1: Harnessing the power of placebos

The concept of the placebo effect is meant to investigate how our mindset can affect health behaviors and outcomes. Prof. Alia shares her research on placebos and encourages us to consider the placebo effect as more than mysterious response to an inert substance.

The placebo effect demonstrates the power, sometimes, the surprising power of our mindset, thoughts, believes, expectations to produce meaningful changes in the body. Example, by simply taking sugar pills also known as placebo pills under the impression that it is a real medication can not only improve your pain and your anxiety and depression but also reduce your blood pressure, calm your asthma and boost your immune system.

Furthermore, placebo surgeries where doctors put the patient under anesthesia, cuts them open and switches them back without doing anything can get people or patients back on their feet again.

Milk shake case study

A group of people were given some equal amount of milk shake with two different labels.

Results

In one sample when people believed that they were drinking milk with more calories, their bodies responded as if they had actually drunk more calories i.e. (There was greater mitigating effect on ghrelin (hunger inducing and metabolic regulating hormone). Placebos do not just work by making us feel better. Instead, they produce a whole lot of specific neo-biological effects

A doctor’s office case study

Here a doctor gives a patient a skin histamine skin injection. Then histamine produces allergic reactions on the fore arm. The size of the reaction can be measured with changes over time. Six minutes after the application of the histamine, the doctor apply a placebo cream.

For half of the participants, the doctor has some good news, and she says, “This is an antihistamine cream, it will make your rash irritation better.” To the other half, the doctor does not have good news for them, and she says, “This is a histamine agonist it will make your rash and irritation worse.”

 Results of the study

When the doctor said the cream would make the rash worse, the rash was actually worse for ten minutes after applying the cream. When she said that the cream would make the rash better, the rash was better. This suggests that the physiological responses to the histamine depended on the beliefs that the patient had about the cream. This means that our mindsets about treatment will work and they matter in shaping treatment outcomes.

The words of the doctor were critical factor bit of course in the formation of the mindset.  However, there could be other factors like what the doctor did or what the patient thought of the doctor. In psychology this is called the social contact, and research has shown that social contact has a tremendous influence on our behaviors. The main question is, ‘can the social contact get under the skin? To test this, the social contact was changed. In the following ways:

In the first case, the doctor became warm and looked the patient in the eyes, she connected to them at a personal level, she did not just ask the patient’s date and location of birth, but she also asked “Where were you born and how was it like growing up? In addition, there were cues in the environment that signaled her competence. Her badge showed academic excellence, the room was pristine, and she completed the procedure with precision. Why were things competent? Social psychologists say that there two fundamental qualities that we judge people with. First, we want to know if they have good intentions to us or bad.  Secondly, do they have the ability to enact those intentions and are they competent.

In the second case, the doctor was not warm at all. She was staring at the computer screen. She directly asked the patient; date of birth, location of birth, next question etc. His badge does not indicate academic excellence it reads student doctor, and her desk is messy, and when she puts the blood test measure, she fumbles.

Results of the study:

The warm and the competent doctor, who connected well with the patient, what she said about the cream, was even and made the effect stronger, and the healing of her positive expectations were more powerful. On the other hand, when the doctor was cold, fumbling with no attention, what she said about the cream made no difference at all. This means that there was no positive effect.

Conclusion of the study

What one says matters. again, positive mindset produces positive result. Similarly, the body has its natural abilities to heal itself with time and that should not be discounted. However, there are the effects of our mindset.  E.g. how we are viewing and perceiving the treatments to evoke and activate the healing properties in the body. Furthermore, the effect in the social contacts, the medical ritual, the doctor’s credentials, the branding of the drugs and the things that shape our mindsets, all can activate our bodies natural healing abilities.

Let us change our words, actions, and produce objectively better outcomes, since the effects of our mindsets and social contact are not mysterious or magical, but they are understandable, can be measured, categorized and quantified. The effects of these forces are not adversaries but they are allies and critical building boxes in the hierarchy of healing that can occur.

According to Stanford Researchers Identify Life-changing Power of Mindset, published on July 20th, 2017 in the journal Health Psychology shows another research which was conducted in three countries led by Octavia Zahrt and Alia Crum. In the research, more than 60,000 people participated. The participants had the same features including; same weight, same age and almost the same health condition.

Their study reports that simply changing your mindset and perceptions about the health benefits of everyday physical activity (such as walking to the corner store or taking the stairs) could help you live a longer and healthier life. This means that you do not have to be an exercise fanatic to reap health benefits from small amounts of low-intensity physical activity that can easily fit your day-to-day lifestyle.

Here, the researchers were interested in getting responses to one question: “Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?” As it turns out, your answer to this question (regardless of how physically active you actually are) could predict your risk of premature death decades from now.

In fact, individuals who believed they were less active than other people their age were 71 percent more likely to pass away in the follow-up period (21 years) than individuals who self-identified as being more active.

Finally, this new research reaffirms that when it comes to exercise, placebo effects can create a self-fulfilling prophecy by making any amount of daily activity you are already doing have more robust health benefits. Conversely, the “nocebo” effect of negative expectations about your own degree of athleticism-or constantly beating yourself up for not getting enough exercise-can become a form of self-sabotage.

 

Step 2: Placebo effect examples

Placebo effect is a fake medicine which has no effect as if it is real and make the patient to believe that it can cure their illness.

Through the placebo effect we realize that regardless of gender, colour tribe among others, our mind has power.

Case study one: Old couple boiled and ate the prescribed medicine

An old couple lived in some rural area. One day, the grandfather was sick and he had a severe stomach and head ache.

This old couple lived their whole life without having to see a doctor. However, one day they decided to go and see a doctor since the grandfather was experiencing severe and unbearable pain.

After asking from a friend, they were directed to a famous doctor who would treat the grandfather. On arriving, they had to wait for their turn because the doctor had a lot of clients, but finally their turn came and they went in for diagnosis.

The grandfather explained his sickness to the doctor that he could not even eat anything as a result of pain.

After listening to the grandfather keenly, the doctor smiled confidently and said to the grandfather, “I will give you the herbal medicine.” Immediately, the doctor took out a pen from his doctor gown and a piece of paper and wrote some prescriptions for the grandfather. The instructions were clear on what the couple should do with the herbal medicine: They were to boil the medicine and the grandfather was to take the boiled medicine twice a day for one week.

The couple received the prescription paper and returned home. They understood that the prescription paper with the pen’s inscription was the medicine. So, they boiled the prescription paper and the grandfather took the concussion faithfully as directed by the doctor twice a day for one week and he fully recovered and was fully healed. The couple was very thankful in their heart for the doctor whom they now believed was not only famous but a professional.

However, after one year, the grandfather fell sick again and so the couple returned to the doctor. The couple reminded the doctor that they had visited him sometimes in the past and that the grandfather had been healed after boiling and taking the doctor’s prescription.

The doctor confirmed from his records that indeed the couple had visited his hospital, however he was surprised to hear that the grandfather had not boiled the herbal medicine but instead boiled the prescription as the medicine.

However, realizing that actually the grandfather had been indeed healed, the doctor again showed them the pen and said to them, “This is indeed a very good medicine which I will only give to you.” Therefore, he took a pen and wrote the couple another prescription paper and requested them to go and boil and that the father should take that medicine twice a day for one week.

 

Case study two: Young man who died in the broken-down cold room

A young man had just been employed in a food company. One day he was assigned to clean the cold room with some ice cubes. The cold room was broken down and therefore its ice cubes were melting down.  Alone in the cold room, he passionately cleaned the cold room until late.

However, the supervisor and operators of the cold room closed the cold room because obviously they did not know if there was anyone inside the cold room. Indeed, the young man was still in the cold room going on with his cleaning work, and when he was done, he realized that he had been closed inside the cold room and everyone else had gone home.

After desperately trying to look for help, his body started to succumb to the cold environment and he believed that he was standing before death and therefore he wrote his last words as follows: “The body is becoming like ice clusters and fingers are losing their senses.”

Therefore, finally the young man died and the operators saw his body in the morning when they opened the cold room.

Why did the young man have to die? It was as a result of three consecutive factors. First, he developed despair which made him to give up and finally he succumbed to death.

Actually, despite the fact that the cold room hand broken down, yet the young man had two thoughts and his life depended on which idea he would follow.

First, the thought that because there is a cold room I will die. Unfortunately, he followed that thought and he died. On the other hand, if he embraced the thought that he could still live, then he could have realized that the ice cubes were melting down. Also, there were only 12 hours to day break and they would open the cold room for him to get out. Consequently, he would have embarked to do active exercises and keep his body warm until day break, that way he would have lived.

The mindset that you have can save your life or lead to death.